Speak with a local attorney immediately! If your circumstances are truly compelling, you should be able to get an emergency order. You can search the attorney profiles here on AVVO to find someone in your area. Good luck!
Ms. Brown may be reached at 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: email@example.com. All of Ms. Brownâ€™s responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.
My first question to you would be what are the reasons that you have for wanting to establish paternity prior to the child being born?
Normally, a petition to determine parentage of a child arises after a child has been born and, usually, is raised by the purported father as part of a defense to a petition for child support or affirmatively to support his petition for custody and/or visitation of the child where his parentage is being denied by the mother -- neither of which usually occurs until after the child is born. I am aware of a few isolated cases in other states where an alleged father has filed for custody of an unborn child in an effort to control certain detrimental activities of the mother while the child is in utero (such as where mother was an alcoholic and father was seeking to have the mother confined to a rehab facility for the duration of the pregnancy). However, I am not aware of any such cases in Virginia.
Virginia statute requires that the mother and the child make themselves available for DNA testing, as directed by the court, in a paternity suit. So, your being in England may create some difficulty in this regard. Additionally, if the child is born outside of the U.S. and remains there, then there may be some jurisdictional issues. Jurisdiction for the paternity suit would exist where the child was conceived, but jurisdiction for custody, visitation, and support may need to be initiated in England (as the child's home jurisdiction) and would then involve application of multi-national jurisdiction issues, such as whether England has a reciprocity agreement with the U.S. for initiation and enforcement of child custody and support orders.
In my opinion, your question raises some complicated issues to which there is no easy, simple answer. I recommend that you consult with an experienced family law attorney and that you do so prior to leaving the country.
This response does not create an attorney-client relationship and is intended for general information purposes only.